Earlier this week a toy company called Goldieblox put out a video that featured three girls playing with "not your typical girlie toys" and signing an altered version of the Beastie Boys' song "Girls." The video has been viewed more than seven million times since it was published with the purpose to inspire young girls to pursue scientific careers and deviate from the typical toys associated with young girls such as dolls, play kitchens and houses, pink stuff and princesses etc.
Some applauded the video for its feminist message, but apparently not everyone was happy with it going viral. According to a lawsuit filed on Thursday by Goldieblox, "the Beastie Boys have now threatened GoldieBlox with copyright infringement, The Hollywood Reporter reported. Lawyers for the Beastie Boys claim that the GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video is a copyright infringement, is not a fair use and that GoldieBlox's unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys intellectual property is a 'big problem' that has a 'very significant impact.'"
To preemptively clear their name, Goldieblox is headed to federal court in California seeking a ruling that declares the video not to be a copyright infringement.
The original song's (*cough* misogynist) lyrics are: "Girls - to do the dishes / Girls - to clean up m room / Girls - to do the laundry / Girls - and in the bathroom / Girls, that's all I really want is girls."
Goldieblox's parody goes like this: "Girls - to build the spaceship / Girls - to code the new app / Girls - to grow up knowing / They can engineer that / Girls. That's all we really need is girls."
Will the judge declare this "fair use?" To find out, the judge will have to determine four factors (Side note: thank you Communication Law class back in undergrad for teaching me about this): " 1) The purpose and character of the use 2) the nature of the copyrighted work 3) the amount and substantially of the portion taken 4) the effect of the use upon potential market."
Many of these factors can be argued both ways. What do you think? Is the video a copyright infringement or fair use? Watch it here and decide. Let us know what you think in the comments section below!